Tagged: long-distance dispersal


Consequences of intraspecific variation in seed dispersal for plant demography, communities, evolution and global change

As the single opportunity for plants to move, seed dispersal has an important impact on plant fitness, species distributions and patterns of biodiversity. However, models that predict extinction risk of species, range shifts, and biodiversity tend to rely on average dispersal distances. Yet we know that seed dispersal is highly variable even within a single species (e.g., some seeds go very far and some barely move away from their parent plant, some seeds end up in great quality habitats and some end up on roads). Individual variation in the seed dispersal process is multifaceted and can include differences in the...

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Sampling plots of Mikania micrantha in Guangdong Province, South China.

From South America to Shenzhen, China; road trip of an invasive weed

The South American weed Mikania micrantha has spread rapidly across Southern China since its introduction to the Shenzhen region in 1984. Geng et al. used SSR markers to investigate and map genetic diversification of this weed along highways. The results show a relatively low level of genetic differentiation, a lack of clear geographic genetic structure and strong gene flow between populations. The long-distance dispersal of seeds associated with vehicular transportation on highways may have provided corridors for the spread of M. micrantha in Southern China, thereby shaping genetic variation.

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Biogeography and evolutionary diversification in one of the most widely distributed and species rich genera of the Pacific

The largest natural feature on Earth is the Pacific Ocean, which covers over one-third of our planet’s surface. Despite its extent, the historical biogeography of many lineages ­– of both terrestrial and marine ocean habitats – remains poorly investigated. In a recent study published in AoB PLANTS and designated as an Editor’s Choice, Cantley et al. reconstructed the previously unknown historical biogeography of Coprosma (Rubiaceae), which is one of the largest (>110 species) and most widespread flowering plant genera distributed across the Pacific. A New Zealand origin of Coprosma was inferred at approximately 25 million years ago (Ma), but most...

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Polyploidy and long-distance dispersal

Polyploidy and long-distance dispersal

Most of the numerous and remarkable range disjunctions across the southern oceans are probably the result of occasional long-distance dispersal, rather than of vicariance. Linder and Barker study the grass subfamily Danthonioideae, which probably reached its current global distribution by a number of long-distance dispersal events during the Neogene, and show that such dispersal is much more likely in polyploid than in diploid species. It is possible that polyploidy facilitates post-dispersal establishment, and it is postulated that the frequent occurrence of polyploidy in the grasses may thus have facilitated their long-distance dispersal, and hence contributed to the remarkable success of...

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Pantropical disjunction in Paederia

Pantropical disjunction in Paederia

Paederia is a pantropical genus of 31 species of woody lianas from the family Rubiaceae, with high species’ diversity in both tropical continental Asia and Africa and only two species in the tropical Americas. Nie et al. conduct phylogenetic analyses using sequences of five plastid markers and infer an origin in the Oligocene in tropical continental Asia, probably followed by long-distance dispersal across the Indian Ocean in the early-to-middle Miocene. They infer that the two Neotropical species derived independently in the late Miocene from ancestors of Asia and East Africa, respectively, and conclude that long-distance dispersal may thus be much more...

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